For My Contractor Friends: 4 Ways Architects And Contractors Work Together In Home Building

ways architects and contractors work together in home building

The power of general contractors is their hands-on skills, insight on costs, clients, and market conditions. That’s why I always tell my clients from the Chicago suburbs to engage and partner with a builder as soon as possible.

As an architect, I partner with many contractors and I understand the challenges they face — the fear of ‘what could go wrong?’ I’ve worked as a carpenter and have a long history in design-build. It has taught me a lot. When an architect and general contractor collaborate, we experience greater clarity and less stress … and provide that for our client.

But first a word to those who doubt that they need to hire an architect. Cost is an important consideration, I understand and agree. We deal with a fear of cost in our field. But hiring an architect actually keeps costs under control, boosts resale value and reduces anxiety about the project.

Plus, you get a design that stands out from your competition, a well defined and developed design solution that is more affordable than a rushed solution where things could go wrong.

An architect’s work often reduces cost. And it always enhances the client’s experience and the quality and value of the completed project. The possibilities are endless. For my contractor friends, here are 4 ways architects and general contractors can work together to enhance the home building experience:

Gain Clarity With 3D Design Modeling

As the architect, my firm provides 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM).

Clients usually don’t know how to read architectural plans. Both clients and contractors benefit from a clear, interactive visual. I’ve seen 3D modeling work as a conduit for communication for the whole team.

Today’s homes are typically more complex than simple colonial homes; there is a lot of relief – ins and outs, things that aren’t easily conveyed in 2D architectural drawings. BIM is an invaluable tool for everyone involved who needs to see the home from every angle.

This article was written by Mark Benner of Mark Eric Benner Architects (MEBA). Read more here:

About the author

Mark Benner

Architect Mark Benner loves a puzzle and he solves one with every luxury residential project he completes in the Chicago area. Whether how best to use the site, retrofit sustainable features to an older home or ensure a new home will meet the needs of the people who live there, each custom home project presents its share of challenges. Mark welcomes them. He opened his firm, Mark Eric Benner - Architects, in 2007 and brings 25 years of experience designing high-end homes from the ground up. The firm is the natural next step in a career that started with carpentry and included groundbreaking work in 3D Design software. He has his degree in architecture from Lawrence Technological University in Michigan. An outdoorsman, Mark has a particular interest in sustainability and helps clients incorporate “green” features into their new or existing homes. Because of working for two firms that combined construction and design services (know as “design build”) under construction-minded leadership, Mark concluded that an architect-led design process is better for the client. He designed his firm to be the intersection of the best in the artistic process and the latest in digital design capabilities. Because a puzzle is easier to assemble together with others, the firm makes extensive use of 3D Design renderings so that it becomes easy for clients to envision what their home will look like. As Mark says, “The process of designing a home is better when it’s open and shared.”

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